Facebook launches M — Its new digital assistant for Messenger

Back then, Facebook confirmed that it was testing its digital assistant codenamed Moneypenny. Facebook called it a new service inside Messenger that would complete tasks and look for information on your behalf. Powered by AI, M was supposed to be trained and supervised by real people.

FB launches a unified inbox for businesses on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram

Benji Shomair, Facebook’s global head of Pages, described the new functionality as “one of our most frequent requests.”

Previously, if a businesses wanted to respond to customers on Facebook and Instagram, they had to open separate apps — an increasing challenge as more and more of their communication is happening on social media. (Facebook says Pages alone are seeing “nearly 5 billion comments, messages and visitor posts” each month.)

“There were some people even carrying multiple phones so that they can quickly respond to all the different things coming in,” he added.

Facebook Messenger has more than 800 million monthly users

This reflects a significant increase, up from 500 million in late 2014—though a chunk of Messenger's growth can be attributed to Facebook's decision to nix in-app messaging from its flagship app, effectively forcing users to download Messenger.

As noted in Fast Company's December 2015 cover story, Facebook boasts 1.55 billion monthly users, which makes Messenger's numbers doubly impressive.

The app has eclipsed Facebook-wide growth over the past year, given that Facebook only gained about 200 million new monthly users since November 2014.